WESTON – West Virginia State Police have released the name of an Oklahoma man who was killed in a standoff with police Friday after reportedly robbing a Lewis County bar at gunpoint.
Mark Edward Danley, 53, of Atoka, Oklahoma, was fatally shot during a confrontation with police after leading multiple law enforcement agencies on a pursuit that wound through Lewis County Friday, Sept. 3, according to Sgt. J.R. Wince, commander of the Weston detachment of the West Virginia State Police.
Wince said the incident began around 10 a.m. Friday morning, when Danley entered Christine’s Hot Spot Lounge in Weston, brandished a firearm and took several thousand dollars in U.S. currency.
“He brandished a firearm at a female employee there and then stole an undisclosed amount of cash and left,” Wince said Tuesday. “Through further investigation we were able to develop an idea of the suspect vehicle and Weston city police attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle, but the driver (Danley) failed to yield.”
Wince said Danley “rammed into a city cruiser” with his truck before taking off, leading to a pursuit through the county.
“West Virginia State Police and the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office were then pursuing him through Lewis County, and we eventually deployed vehicle-disabling techniques, which stopped him at the intersection of Berlin Road and old Route 33,” Wince said.
Danley then fled on foot into a neighborhood behind the Weston Walmart and Sheetz and attempted to a take a man on a riding lawnmower hostage, police confirmed.
“He ran into a neighborhood and attempted to engage a man who was on a riding lawnmower and presumably tried to take him hostage, but that gentleman fought back, and at that point, officers engaged him,” Wince said. “It’s important to note that [Danley] was continually brandishing and waving around a firearm at police officers.”
Danley was armed with a .38-caliber revolver and was “only within a few feet of the man he tried to take hostage” when law enforcement shot him, Wince said.
“It was an escalating situation and clearly dangerous,” the sergeant said.
Wince declined to specify which law enforcement agency fired the shot that killed Danley, noting the agencies involved in the standoff included WVSP, Lewis County sheriff’s deputies and W.Va. Division of Natural Resources police officers. Deputies with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office had been stationed at two points along the Lewis-Upshur County line: along Route 33 and in the Hacker’s Creek area, but Danley never entered Upshur County, according to a previous story.
WVSP officers investigating the case aren’t sure what Danley’s motives were.
“We have no idea,” Wince said. “He had been living here for work for the last couple years. It is definitely the kind of unusual thing that doesn’t happen here often.”